Hospital leaders: I'm most thankful for ...

FierceHealthcare's advisory board share their Thanksgiving notes

As Frank Byrne, president of St. Mary's Hospital in Madison, Wis., recently noted, healthcare doesn't do very good job of recognition, even though there is much to celebrate.

With the industry seeing new innovations, technology and healthcare delivery models, we wanted to know what healthcare leaders were most thankful for this year.

Here's what some of our advisory board members had to say:

Mina H. Ubbing (right), president and CEO of Ohio's Fairfield Medical Center is grateful for the opportunity to work together and share resources throughout the continuum of care.

"We are working on this through an Area Agency on Aging grant to help reduce 30 day readmissions," she told FierceHealthcare. Although Fairfield hasn't yet implemented wireless technology, Ubbing already appreciates the idea of using it to enhance provider-patient communication.

Mark Callahan (left), CEO of Mount Sinai Care in New York City is glad the focus on population health survived the presidential election. "While the Shared Savings Program has some limitations, it is nevertheless an important evolution in the Medicare program," he said.

It brings providers into direct collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding quality and cost effectiveness, making it easier to align clinical and financial incentives, Callahan noted.

Jeremy D. Tucker (right), medical director of MedStar St. Mary's Hospital in Leonardtown, Md., told FierceHealthcare he's most thankful for access to information. "The exchange of information is vitally important to providing excellent, safe and cost-effective care in today's healthcare environment."

For example, with health information exchanges, providers can share information and make more informed decisions with additional data at their fingertips, he noted.

Similarly, James Merlino (left), chief experience officer at the Cleveland Clinic, told FireceHealthcare he's most thankful for the electronic medical record.

"The EMR is an important innovation that will continue to evolve as technology continues to evolve around it," he said. "This innovation has transformed the way we practice and deliver medicine to drive safety, quality, patient experience and value."

Thanks to the EMR, providers can enter a unique patient identifier into a hand-held tablet anywhere in the world and instantly call up a patient's history, lab work, diagnostic tests, procedure notes, and any other health information. Moreover, they can sort it to only look for information relevant to a particular encounter or disease state, enabling them to monitor follow-up and compliance, as well as integrate patient engagement and education tactics to better deliver care, Merlino noted.